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National Keynote Speaker

Andrea J Liu Photo

Dr. Andrea Liu is a theoretical soft and living matter physicist who received her A. B. and Ph.D. degrees in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Cornell University, respectively.  She was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA for ten years before joining the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Liu is currently Speaker-Elect of the Council of the American Physical Society (APS) and Chair-Elect of the Physics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a fellow of the APS, AAAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Local Plenary Speakers

Renu Malhotra

Renu Malhotra

Dr. Renu Malhotra is Louise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professor and Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences at The University of Arizona in Tucson, where she directed the Theoretical Astrophysics Program during 2011-2016. She was born in New Delhi and grew up in Hyderabad, India. She earned her M.S. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi in 1983, and her Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1988. She did post-doctoral research at Cornell and at Caltech, and worked as a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Her work in planetary dynamics has spanned a wide variety of topics, including extra-solar planets and debris disks around nearby stars, the formation and evolution of the Kuiper belt and the asteroid belt, the orbital resonances amongst the moons of the giant planets, and the meteoritic bombardment history of the planets. She has revolutionized our understanding of the history of the solar system by using the orbital resonance between Pluto and Neptune to infer large-scale orbital migration of the giant planets and to predict the existence of the "Plutinos" and other small planets in resonance with Neptune. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been the recipient of honors and awards from the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, The University of Arizona, and the IIT-Delhi.

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Margaret Murnane

Margaret Murnane, 2020 OU CUWiP Speaker

Dr. Margaret Murnane is a Fellow at JILA and a member of the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado. She received her B.S and M.S. degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, and joined the faculty of physics at Washington State University in 1990.

In 1996, Professor Murnane moved to the University of Michigan, and in 1999 she moved to the University of Colorado. She runs a joint research group and a small laser company with her husband, Prof. Henry Kapteyn.

Prof. Murnane's research interests have been in ultrafast optical and x-ray science. Prof. Murnane is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America. In 1997 she was awarded the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, in 2000 she was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, in 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2006 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Risa Wechsler

Risa Wechsler

Dr. Risa Wechsler is a cosmologist, and a professor of physics at stanford university and the slac national accelerator laboratory. As of September 2018, she is the director of the kavli institute for particle astrophysics and cosmology;

Her major research interests are focused on understanding the growth of structure in the universe, how structure formation drives galaxy formation, and how galaxies can be used to probe the the fundamental physics of the universe, including the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Wechsler uses large computer simulations, physical and empirical models, and the deepest and largest galaxy surveys to determine how the universe formed and evolved.

From 2014-2018 she was the co-spokesperson of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), and am a founding member of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and the LSST Eark Energy Science Collaboration. Other major current projects include a study of the satellites of milky way analogs called the SAGA (Satellites Around Galactic Analogs) survey and the COMA (Comappingarray) project.

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